Out with the night time toys – Viewing Saturn

At last, the rain has stopped, the murk has cleared and we had a relatively clear night in store. I mowed the lawn so was already one step ahead this weekend and I was able to get out the night-time toys – namely the telescope and moth trap.

Not at the same time of course as the two are mutually exclusive pastimes because the last thing you want whilst looking at the night sky is a dirty great big light trap shining away giving off light pollution. That said, I did start my star gazing before it was fully dark and I was actually planet gazing rather than star-gazing.

The target was Saturn, and what a view we had. Saturn was clear and bright and nicely aligned so that the rings were clearly visible. We could just about make out some banding on the planets surface and could see a couple of the larger moons. I think the moons we could see where Rhea and Titan.

Unfortunately as it was 10pm before it was even partially dark Morgan was already in bed. I did think about waking him up that he too could see Saturn, but in the end made do with waking Anna up who was a asleep on the sofa instead. She was pretty reluctant to come outside at first but was glad she did and got quite excited about seeing Saturn. So much so that she phoned Dave & Sarah next door and got them to come and have a look too! If it’s looking clear tonight then I think we’ll have another go and will keep Morgan up this time.

As I’ve said before, its one thing seeing amazing photos in a book or online, but seeing the actual object through a telescope with your own eyes is pretty special. Saturn was certainly looking good last night.

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Alan Cole

Alan is a Freelance Website Designer, Sports & Exercise Science Lab Technician and full time Dad & husband with far too many hobbies: Triathlete, Swimming, Cycling, Running, MTBing, Surfing, Windsurfing, SUPing, Gardening, Photography.... The list goes on.

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